'Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrel - Book List update' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click reply to discuss below.
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  • ScarletBeaScarletBea Forumite
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    I love big books. I love historical fiction. But this was the single book in my entire life that I haven't finished reading, because I thought life's too short to waste time with awful books.
    For me.
    Being brave is going after your dreams head on
  • liliaslilias Forumite
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    My experience was the opposite of Martin's. I started with great enthusiasm and carried the book around with me so that I could carry on reading whenever I had some spare moments. However towards the end of the novel I started to lose interest and one day I put it down at the end of a chapter and have never picked it up since. In fact I'd forgotten about it until now.
  • persian_starpersian_star Forumite
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    Me too ScarletBea. I enjoy historical fiction, and fantasy fiction is my absolute favourite (though I'll try anything really - Eng Lit degree saw to that!) but this book was dark and dank and depressing. Maybe it was because I tried to read it while on holiday in Portugal a couple of years ago and the bright sunshine outside my head was so at odds with what was going on inside so it just magnified the gloominess. I kept expecting to get gripped but never quite was - maybe if I'd got a little bit further (I managed two thirds) it would have got me :) But there is also a fair dollop of war and fighting in there which is my biggest turn off when reaching for a book.

    Oh - I never finished Dickens' Hard Times either. But with a title (and content) like that, maybe it was fitting ;)
  • At least we know what he was reading in the loo now!
    Right now I'm having amnesia and deja- vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before
  • have you ever tried any Terry Pratchett books?
  • minerva_windsongminerva_windsong Forumite
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    I quite liked it. Agree with Martin that it doesn't get going until Strange turns up - I remember thinking, "Oh, 800 more pages of this!", and then actually getting really into it and being utterly gripped until the end of the middle, and then starting to find in hard going again with Strange in Italy and the tower and all that. Although I must say that, whilst I appreciate the messages of the bits with the fairy king, I didn't really like them all that much and found they distracted from the bits I actually cared about.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
  • SeakaySeakay Forumite
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    If you like a mixture of fact and fiction in a really well written historical novel then try "Temeraire" by Naomi Novik, the first in a series of books set in an alternative reality where the British are fighting the French, led by Bonaparte, but dragons exist and are used in a sort of flying corps!
  • liliaslilias Forumite
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    Seakay wrote: »
    If you like a mixture of fact and fiction in a really well written historical novel then try "Temeraire" by Naomi Novik, the first in a series of books set in an alternative reality where the British are fighting the French, led by Bonaparte, but dragons exist and are used in a sort of flying corps!

    I love the Temeraire novels! Hornblower with dragons :)
  • ClowanceClowance Forumite
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    Magic normalised in a historical setting: Hmmmm - try the Takes of Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card, in my opinion one of the greatest fantasy novel writers ever.
    Alvin grows up in America in early 19th century and the stories are interwoven with actual historical events and personages.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tales_of_Alvin_Maker

    Haven't read the book under discussion but sounds interesting.
  • moorhen_2moorhen_2 Forumite
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    ScarletBea wrote: »
    I love big books. I love historical fiction. But this was the single book in my entire life that I haven't finished reading, because I thought life's too short to waste time with awful books.
    For me.

    Agreed, I've only given up on a few books ever without finishing them, but I reached page 360 and decided reluctantly that life's too short. If it was a person, I'd call them "nice but dull", and guiltily avoid spending time with them.
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